CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Two games into his NHL career, Blackhawks rookie goaltender Jaxson Stauber is playing like a poised veteran.
Stauber stopped 34 shots for his second consecutive win and 13 players contributed a point as Chicago beat the Calgary Flames 5-1 Thursday night.
“Looks really solid and calm in there,” Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson said. “They’re a big team and they get to the net and they’re trying to get secondary chances. He just makes a save and even if there’s some scrambling going on, he doesn’t look scrambly.”
Taylor Raddysh, Boris Katchouk, Jason Dickinson, Sam Lafferty and Connor Murphy scored for the Blackhawks (15-28-4), who entered last in the NHL standings. Max Domi had an assist, extending his point streak to four games.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored for the Flames (23-17-9), sitting outside a playoff spot in the Western Conference after winning the Pacific Division last year.
Jacob Markstrom made 24 saves for Calgary. Winless in his last four decisions (0-3-1), he fell to 13-13-5 overall. It was the 10th time this season Markstrom received no more than one goal of support.
“Obviously, it’s unacceptable,” Huberdeau said. “The way we came out and the way we played, too many odd-man rushes. They had so many chances. I feel bad for (Markstrom) because he’s been playing (well) lately and we’re not playing good in front of him.”
With goalie Alex Stalock sidelined by a concussion, Stauber and veteran Petr Mrazek are left to tend the net for Chicago. Stauber made his NHL debut Saturday in a 5-3 win at St. Louis.
“He’s had two really good showings here. Hopefully he just gets more comfortable as he goes,” Richardson said.
Stauber is in his first professional season after signing as a free agent last March. The undrafted 23-year-old played the previous two years at Providence College and began this season with Rockford of the AHL.
Stauber is the son of former NHL goalie Robb Stauber, the 1988 Hobey Baker Award winner with Minnesota as college hockey's top player.
“He was calm, cool, collected. He’s been like that ever since he got called up,” Chicago forward Colin Blackwell said. “You can tell he’s just locked in all the time. His routine from right when he gets on the bus, he’s pretty dialed in.”
The game was tied 1-all after 20 minutes, but the Blackhawks seized control in the second period with three unanswered goals.
Katchouk one-timed a pass from Luke Philp at 9:39 past Markstrom, who was screened.
Chicago made it a two-goal lead at 15:37 when Flames defensemen Nikita Zadorov and MacKenzie Weeger both went to Patrick Kane, leaving the middle of the ice open. Kane’s pass sent Dickenson in alone and he beat Markstrom over his shoulder.
Just 30 seconds later, another defensive miscue by the Flames resulted in a 2-on-1 rush, with Blackwell setting up Lafferty for his eighth goal of the season.
The Flames outshot Chicago 18-6 in the third, but couldn’t beat Stauber. Murphy scored for the Blackhawks into an empty net.
The scattered booing from disgruntled fans throughout the period was at its loudest at the final buzzer as Calgary players left the ice.
“We made some glaring errors on the back end that cost us goals against,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “You’ve got some defensemen that even though they’re younger guys, they also have to take some leadership in it, too, in terms of direction and poise.”
TOEWS AND TANEV OUT
Both teams were without key players. Calgary defenseman Chris Tanev (upper body) was out. His spot was taken by Connor Mackey, a healthy scratch the last 16 games.
Chicago was minus captain Jonathan Toews (non-COVID-19 illness). Philp was inserted into the lineup and got his first NHL point.
Tyler Toffoli played in the 700th game of his career. He has played 86 games for the Flames. Toffoli has also played for Los Angeles (515 games), Vancouver (10) and Montreal (89).
Blackhawks: Complete a three-game road trip Saturday night in Edmonton.
Flames: At Seattle on Friday night in their final game before the All-Star break.
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